Every week, baking expert Alice Medrich will be going rogue on Food52 — with shortcuts, hacks, and game-changing recipes.
Today: What, exactly, are you supposed to do with cocoa nibs? Alice tells all.
Cacao or cocoa nibs are bits of hulled cocoa beans. Most nibs are sold roasted (and those have the best flavor). They are unsweetened — thus somewhat bitter — and super crunchy, with intense and rather primal chocolate flavors.
More: 10 Chocolate Cookies. You’re welcome.
Nibs were once found only in chocolate factories, where they were ground up and made into chocolate. Nibs are still the defining ingredient in all chocolate manufacture, but they are now also available in better supermarkets and specialty stores. You can use nibs in all kinds of sweet and savory ways. Here are five to get you started.
5 Sweet and Savory Things to Do with Cocoa Nibs
1. Sprinkle nibs on vanilla (or other) ice cream for a grown-up ice cream experience.
2. Add nibs — in addition to or instead of — nuts in cookie recipes.
3. Make cocoa nib-infused whipped cream: Bring 1/3 cup of roasted nibs to a simmer in 1 cup of heavy cream. Off heat, cover and let steep 20 minutes and then